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Tuesday 02nd of December 2008
June 20, 2006

Nikkei, Topix lower on commodity-related stocks


by Elaine Frei

Declines in stocks related to commodities sent the Tokyo equities markets lower on Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 dropped 1.4 percent to 14,648.41, while the Topix index declined by 1.1 percent to 1,510.32. The Mother’s index of small and mid-cap stocks was also down, by 2.1 percent.

Transport-related stocks were down on the day. Japan’s largest airline, JAL, lost 2 percent to ¥299 on news of a possible strike on Wednesday that could disrupt flight schedules. Railways were down as well. Hankyu lost 4 percent to ¥535 after it said it had paid more than it intended to for Hanshin Electric Railway, which was down 5.4 percent to ¥848.

Commodities-related stocks fell as concerns continued about the state of the US economy as well as in reaction to Monday’s news that China’s central bank has begun a program to decrease lending, which could see demand for commodities there decline. Sumitomo Metal Mining lost 4.5 percent to ¥1,253, while Mitsui Mining & Smelting dropped 3.8 percent to ¥638.

Falling crude oil prices sent shares in oil-related companies lower. Nippon Oil declined by 0.9 percent to ¥799, while refiner and distributor Cosmo was down 2 percent to ¥502 and Inpex fell 3 percent to ¥890,000.

Glassmakers were also lower on the day. Asahi Glass, Japan’ largest, was down 2.3 percent to ¥1,417, while Nippon Sheet Glass dropped 4.1 percent to ¥615 as investors showed their displeasure that it now owns UK glassmaker Pilkington.

Advances were seen in the pharmaceutical sector, where Daiichi Sankyo added 1.4 percent to ¥2,930, as well as in restaurants, where Yoshinoya D&C added 2.2 percent to ¥229,000 on the prospect that US beef imports might resume soon.

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